AIIB provides $210 million in funds for 490 MW of solar in Egypt

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) announced that it will provide $210 million in debt financing to support the construction of 11 solar plants in Egypt. The bank said the facilities will have a combined capacity of 490 MW, and will be developed under Round 2 of the country’s FIT program for large-scale solar. The AIIB added that the funds were provided by a syndicate of lenders including the Bank, on a limited recourse project finance basis.

The projects are: a 50 MW plant planned by Taqa Arabia SAE; a 50 MW facility developed by Shapoorji Pallonji Infrastructure Capital Company Private Limited; a 50 MW solar park to be built by a consortium formed by Phoenix Power Venture SAL, Infinity Solar Energy SAE, and Ib Vogt GmbH; a 20 MW installation planned by another consortium consisting of Al Tawakol Electrical (Gila) SAE, Enerray Spa, Desert Technologies Industries Co. Ltd, and Spectrum International for Renewable Energy LLC; a further 20 MW facility proposed by Al Bilal Group for General Contracts Limited, Enerray Spa, Desert Technologies, and Tech Project Development Group Incorporated; a 50 MW plant planned by SECI Energia Spa, Enerray Spa, and Desert Technologies Industries Co. Ltd.; a 50 MW project submitted by Alcazar Energy Partners and Nile Capital Holding for Financial Developments; another 50 MW plant under development by Alcazar Energy Partners; two 50 MW projects proposed by Acciona Energía Global, Enara Bahrain, and TBEA Xinjiang SunOasis; and another 50 MW facility planned by Acciona Energía Global and Enara Bahrain.

All of these projects, which are granted a 25-year FIT contract under the program, will be located in the 1.8 GW Benban solar complex, near Aswan in upper Egypt. The complex will host almost all the capacity that the Egyptian government hopes to allocate through the incentive program, which is expected to reach 2 GW.

Several projects developed under Round 2 of the program have reached financial close over the past months, as the country’s government announced in September a revised phase for the program which slashed FIT rates and cleared up an arbitration dispute.

In early June, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced that its board of directors has approved a $500 million credit facility to finance 13 large-scale PV projects in the Benban complex. A week later, the African Development Bank (ADF) said it was considering investing $18 million in a 50 MW solar facility at the complex. Furthermore, Norwegian developer Scatec Solar signed a 25-year PPA for six solar projects totaling 400 MW in the Benban area. Furthermore, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, approved a $660 million financing for the construction of 500 MW of solar power plants at the complex in late July.

Egypt aims to source 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.